Monday, August 29, 2011

Sleep School results - onwards & upwards on a positive note

Saturday night I had a sleep baby specialist come and stay the night with me at my house.

In my last post I had written about the challenges of my 15mth old daughter not sleeping through the night. I was only getting maybe 3-4hrs a sleep tonight & it was beginning to take it's toll, physically & mentally. To add to the pressure I have a 3yr old too & was constantly cranky at my husband.

At seven o'clock the lovely Gabrielle from Sleep Rescue came. She cut to the chase & we got straight to work.

She checked out Charlotte's room. I admit I was a bit nervous as I love her room, & was thinking OMG what is she going to say, or ask me to remove. The first thing was her angel wings that are tied at the end of the cot, & also the beautiful handmade hobby horse that sits beside her cot.
Next was the night light. A lovely pink flower that sits on her wall, bought from IKEA. I am sure many are familiar with them. It's quite bright & very orange when on in the dark.

Gone gone gone...Why?

Remove all potential stimulation. So if she wakes there is no bright light or adorable objects to look at.

The next thing was the dummy. GONE. Charlotte has never been obsessive with the dummy, but she did like it. I also liked how it kept her quiet when I needed it, especially while driving.
Why?? Because when it pops out of her mouth at night she starts crying. By the time I run in to find it, as it's never beside her as she always knocks it out, well she is then far too awake. She hasn't had it for 2 days now & I havent noticed a big difference in her. The fact she doesn't talk yet helps as she can't ask me for it, like Hudson did :0)

She really focused on turning off all stimulation around the house before bed. She said to turn off the TV, sit quietly with her & read a book. Of course this also involves Hudson to. At night they can both have their milk while reading. During the day whatever drink she has which is usually water.

After that bed time. I had to lay her in her cot, & of course she starts screaming as she is used to being nursed to sleep. Instead I tuck her in & say "Time to sleep, go to sleep, it's sleep time Charlotte", in a calm yet firm voice. She then said for me to re enter the room if screaming after 3 mins, 6mins, 8mins & 10mins & repeat those words each time. If I get to 8 mins & she is just grizzly leave her be. Each time she cries for about 10mins or so & it slows right down & she is asleep.

She is crying now as I type this, I am doing it in between the check in times suggested by Gabrielle. I do find it hard as her face looks heart broken when I leave her. She has become accustomed to me nursing her, so she has always drifted off to sleep in the security of mine or my husbands arms. I could imagine what she must be thinking. It does hurt me doing it, but I was hurting from the lack of sleep. I hated that some days I felt agitated towards her because I only had 2hrs sleep.

At night I pull the door over so it's pitch black & no noise. It freaked me out at first & I did not like it one bit. I understand the theory as it quiet & there is no noise, just a dark and peaceful place for her to sleep.

Normally at night I go in & re position & tuck her back in, as she wriggles to the top of the cot. I am not to do that any more, instead dress her a little warmer. She always wears a long onsie to bed because of this. She also recommended a sleeping bag so no matter what she is warm, which I still need to get. Hudson never liked them that's why Charlotte doesn't use them. Gabrielle's logic was so obvious. She said would you like to be dragged down in your bed when you're in a deep sleep & to be possibly woken. Well of course not, so basically I should't touch her. I do admit when I did do that she would sometimes open her eyes look at me & close them.

At night now I just sneak in & only blow a kiss to her. I am too scared to touch her in fear of her waking & it all going pear shaped. Well I am sure after a couple of weeks I will feel less paranoid.

As hard as this routine has to be, I know that she will be & my whole family will be happier for it. Except Hudson who is such a great sleeper, he sleeps though everything, so life to him is still great. Bless him....

It has taken me 30mins to write this & I can say that Miss Charlotte fell into a deep snooze about 10mins ago.


Kelly Exeter said...

Well done Kylie! Jaden has been on a routine since ~3 weeks old. Initially I was like "oh my god, I can't put my baby on such a 'strict' routine". But it is the best thing I ever ever did. Sleep is just so precious - both for the baby and for US!!

Fiona said...

Oh Kylie - it can be such hard work! But it does get better, so hang in there doing whatever you need to in order to cope.

Jane from Lil Pip said...

I pronmise you it will get better. I did something similar with Miss Amelia when she was 9 months old (I did the Dream Baby Guide routine). Three days later she was sleeping through the night and after about 3 months, she was well established in the routine and now at 2.5 she is fantastic. Says goodnight to daddy and big brother and literally skips down the hall with excitement to go to bed. I hear her singing and talking away in her cot after we say goodnight (very, very similar wording used!) and then silence. Blissful, peaceful silence. Until about 6.30-7am in the morning. I wish it was later but then I remember the times I was up every 2 or 3 hours and yes sleeping 10 hours each and every single night is perfectly fine.

Hang in there. It will get better!